2017-02-20

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What is Alien Times?

Alien Times is a monthly English newsletter that has been published in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan since 1987. It has been online at http://www.alientimes.org since 2002. All of our writers and staff are volunteers. Our editor, Tim Boyle, has been editing away since the very first issue was published in June 1987. Now that's dedication!

In Japan, all foreign residents have to register at the local city hall and carry an "alien registration card" at all times. We used to be referred to as "aliens" (rather than foreigners) on a regular basis, but thankfully, that has dropped off in recent years. This newsletter was started before there were many foreign people living in Japan. Tsukuba now has over 7000 foreign residents. (That's a lot for a Japanese city, by the way.) While some people find the name "Alien Times" to be a bit strange, especially now that we are not referred to as aliens very much anymore, we decided to keep the title of the newsletter as it was in 1987 so that we remember how it all started. (Besides, we went out and got the alientimes.org domain and everything!) Tsukuba is a city of 200,000 people, with access to many kinds of foreign foods and books and a schedule full of international conferences and events -- but it wasn't always that way. The pages of Alien Times serve to remind us of the history of our city: where we have been and where we are headed. We offer a unique -- if not exactly alien -- perspective on what it is like to live in Tsukuba's ever-changing landscape.

Whether you are planning to come to Tsukuba, you already live here, or your sojourn in our fair city has come to an end, you are sure to find some interesting and informative articles in every issue.

Happy reading!

No aliens were harmed in the production of this newsletter.

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